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Aravaipa Canyon
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mini location map2017-09-15
22 by photographer avatarchulavista
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Aravaipa CanyonGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Backpack avatar Sep 15 2017
chulavista
Backpack12.00 Miles 200 AEG
Backpack12.00 Miles3 Days         
200 ft AEG35 LBS Pack
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Aravaipa Canyon Family Affair, 2017

We were having a family gathering a while back, and I mentioned hubby and I were going to be backpacking into Aravaipa in September. I got a chorus of “I want to go!” from a bunch of them. So I reserved a permit for the max #, party of 10 for Sept 15-17. There were three generations of family on this trip which made it really cool. Every one of these kids have been taught the “leave no trace” concept, and they all followed it explicitly.

We went in from the west end, with the younger bunch striking out ahead of us. We told them to find an area hubby and I had seen before, that looked like it was big enough to hold all of us. It became the “spot where the naked guy was” because on our trip in 2012 there was a guy skinny-dipping there. So off the kids went. They would eventually stop and wait for us old folks, and then they would take off again. Probably about 4 miles in, we came up on the spot we had described to the kids, and they were nowhere in sight. They had kept going. So we dropped our packs there and my brother-in-law took off after them. Hubby and I headed up too, but not that fast!!

BIL caught up with them, they said they suspected that was the place but thought it was too close so they kept going. When they found out that’s where we would be camping, they dropped their packs on the trail and decided to go farther exploring. Out of 10 of us, only the 3 of us old folks had ever been in the canyon before. For the kids, it was like them being in a candy store.

All the kids in the group have backpacked before, it was a piece of cake for them. One of the boys carried up a set of regulation horse shoes with the stakes. Yes, you read that right! Even the youngest was a real trooper, she carried her pack for over half the trip up. But it didn’t fit her well, and her shoulders were getting sore, so it got passed off between the rest of them for the rest of the trip up. And hubby packed two folding chairs – one for me, and one for my niece who is mamma to the littlest hiker. What a sweetheart!!

When the kids decided to keep going, hubby and I returned to camp to start setting up. We set up camp and just hung around camp for the day. I gotta say, I’m probably 100 lbs heavier than I should be, and I estimate my pack weighed 35 lbs. After 4 miles of walking upstream, I was DONE. I decided my main goal for this trip was to survive without injury. When the kids all came back into camp for the afternoon, we had tin foil dinners and pitched horse shoes. After it got dark, it was adult drinks around the fire for the old folks, and crashing for the evening.

Day two, my BIL had to go home. So when he headed down, we headed up. We walked up the river to horse camp, probably another 2 miles. To date, that’s as far as I have ever been. The kids naturally were all over the place, and 4 of them climbed Virgus falls – including the littlest one.

We returned to camp, and ended up getting in the water to cool down. There are two holes big enough to swim in right at camp. We played cards, then sat by a fire and had a couple more adult beverages, and crashed.

Day three we had breakfast and hung around camp, packed everything up, pitched horse shoes again, then headed out around 11 or so to come home.

Temps were in the mid 90’s during the day, still almost too warm to sleep at night. Thank goodness for the water, because on the second night after we all decided to get in and cool off, it seems we all slept better than the night before. Everyone agreed, we will do this again. The kids had a blast; it was really fun just watching them enjoy the canyon.
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